Got a favorite book? Well, odds are good there’s someone out there in the United States who’d liked to see it censored. And that’s where Banned Books Week comes in—an annual celebration of literacy in which the spotlight is shone on the problem of censorship in U.S. libraries and bookstores. To quote the Banned Books Week website:
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.
This year’s focus is on “the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees [American citizens’] inherent right to read.”
According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)…there was an alarming 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. Since most challenges are not reported, the actual number is probably much higher. Even more disturbing, while only 10% of the titles reported to OIF are normally removed from the institutions receiving the challenges, half of the most frequently challenged books were actually banned last year.
Banned Books Week 2017 is happening right now, September 24 to September 30, so visit the BBW website for more information, including a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 that they’re celebrating this year.